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Sexual dysfunction and central obesity in patients with first episode psychosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

C Theleritis, S Bonaccorso, N Habib, D Stahl, F Gaughran, S Vitoratou, Z Atakan, A Kolliakou, P Gardner Sood, P Dazzan, T R Marques, P McGuire, K Greenwood, J Eberhard, J Breedvelt, S Ferracuti, M Di Forti, R M Murray, S Smith

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Early online date21 Apr 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Apr 2017


King's Authors


BACKGROUND: In recent years the association between sexual dysfunction (SD) and obesity in the general population has drawn major attention. Although sexual dysfunction is common in psychosis, its relationship with weight gain and obesity remains unclear.

AIMS: To investigate the association between sexual dysfunction and obesity in a cohort of patients with first episode psychosis.

METHOD: Sexual function was assessed in a cohort of patients with first episode psychosis using the Sexual Function Questionnaire (SFQ). Anthropometric measures, including weight, BMI, waist, waist-hip ratio were investigated. Additionally, leptin and testosterone were investigated in male patients.

RESULTS: A total of 116 patients (61 males and 55 females) were included. Of these 59% of males and 67.3% of females showed sexual dysfunction (SD) according to the SFQ. In males, higher SFQ scores were significantly correlated with higher BMI (Std. β=0.36, P=0.01), higher leptin levels (Std. β=0.34, P=0.02), higher waist-hip ratio (Std. β=0.32, P=0.04) and lower testosterone levels (Std. β=-0.44, P=0.002). In contrast, in females, SFQ scores were not associated with any of these factors.

CONCLUSIONS: While sexual dysfunction is present in both female and male patients with their first episode of psychosis, only in males is sexual dysfunction associated with increased BMI and waist-hip ratio. The association between SD, BMI, low levels of testosterone and high levels of leptin suggest that policies that lead to healthier diets and more active lifestyles can be beneficial at least, to male patients.

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